Amerika

Periscope (June 29, 2019 PM)

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  • Can your elected official block you on Twitter or Facebook? New Texas case may provide an answer

    In 2017, a woman sued the sheriff of Hunt County, about an hour northwest of Dallas, after Sheriff Randy Meeks’ office deleted a comment he disagreed with on the official Hunt County Sheriff’s Office page and blocked her. In April, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the sheriff’s office engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination when the comment was deleted.

    A few thoughts:

    • If your elected officials are using social media as a publisher of official opinion, and these sites delete people for political opinions, then the government is using social media as its agent in censoring contra-narrative opinion.
    • If your elected officials know that social media censors, and still use these platforms, they are denying your First Amendment rights because these platforms do not have those First Amendment rights, and are essentially vehicles for opinion suppression.
    • By asserting First Amendment rights to commenters on political posts on these social media systems, the courts have created the illusion that any citizen may comment, when in fact this is not true, so the court is violated your First Amendment rights.
    • Since the posts of elected officials generate income for these sites by attracting people to them, the USG is using a subcontractor which does not support First Amendment rights, which means that an agent of the government is being used to evade First Amendment protections.

    I will add to this a couple of predictions:

    • Within a generation, social media will be recognized as public spaces that, despite being privately owned, have an obligation to protect First Amendment rights.
    • Within a generation, we will recognize that in “virtual spaces,” number of users determines something like the amount of land or customers you have, and so monopolies have different obligations — more like those imposed on telecoms — to provide free speech.

    The current situation obviously cannot stand, since everyone including government officials uses these as a public space, and yet conservatives are routinely denied the right to comment for the category of their opinion, not the method in which they expressed it. For example, one may say “I oppose diversity” or engage in a stream of racial slurs and baiting; the former is an acceptable method but an unacceptable category, where the latter could be an unacceptable method — it is a form of vandalism of discourse — although in theory the category of opinion is acceptable.

  • ACLU lawsuit alleges Pennsylvania state troopers illegally profiled Latinos, acted as immigration officers

    We have to get over this illegal hurdle. If a white guy robs a store, we have no problem with the cops pulling over white guys. If you are trying to stop illegal immigration by Hispanics, it is entirely reasonable to pull over Hispanics.

  • £7 billion bill as taxpayer picks up tab for half of student loans

    We keep trying to make education cheaper so that more can do it, but no one focuses on making education better so that not everyone requires a college degree. We also refuse to acknowledge the bald truth of IQ, which is that you can IQ test kids on the first day of school and basically figure out where each belongs in the educational hierarchy. Instead of wasting fifteen years on soaking them with information that they will never use, it makes more sense to slot people in where they belong and give them more years of experience. This is shocking to people brainwashed by egalitarianism, but a 100 IQ person is never more competent than a 120 IQ person.

  • ‘Dark patterns’ are steering many internet users into making bad decisions

    Even if you’ve never heard the phrase “dark patterns,” you’re almost certainly familiar with them. They’re the sneaky ways online companies trick you into agreeing to stuff you’d normally never assent to.

    Classic example: You encounter a prompt asking if you want to sign up for some program or service, and the box is already checked. If you don’t uncheck it — that is, if you do nothing — you’re enrolled.

    A European study last year found that Facebook and Google in particular had become masters of steering people into making choices that weren’t in their best interests.

    “The combination of privacy-intrusive defaults and the use of dark patterns nudge users of Facebook and Google, and to a lesser degree Windows 10, toward the least privacy-friendly options to a degree that we consider unethical,” the study’s authors said.

    What about the dark patterns of democracy? We go to vote, choose the choice we hate least or that makes us feel most important, and then live with the consequences. Once a law is written, it is hard to change, so we work around it. We are often given a choice between two variants of crazy. Almost no one honorable wants anything to do with power in a democracy, but all of the sociopaths do.

  • These four letters spawned five Supreme Court opinions

    The Supreme Court now says that you can register offensive and immoral names as trademarks. Surely our trolls can put this to good use. It reminds me of Bill White’s old riff that he wanted to start a company called “White Power, Inc.,” and sell electrical power.

  • Kurdish asylum seeker ‘not treated like human being’ by Japan immigration

    With diversity, it is always the fault of someone else other than the new diverse person. They are beggars who want to be choosers. If you are going somewhere other than your native land, it is because your land failed or you failed. At that point, you accept whatever you are given because you are simply a supplicant. The arrogance of these people reveals both why their native lands are failing and why they are bailing instead of staying home to fix the situation. In the first world, we get the worst of the third world through immigration.

  • Egypt rounds up prominent leftist activists, journalists

    What a good idea. We should do the same. We can physically remove our Leftist journalists to Venezuela so they can share the “good news” about equality, and never let them back in here.

  • Child sex abuse at German campsite: How authorities failed the victims

    Family liaison officers visited every week. Sometimes they would find Andreas V. in his bathrobe and underpants, and see girls playing in his litter-strewn caravan — supposedly without noticing a thing. When a youth welfare worker did get suspicious, she didn’t intervene and even deleted the memo on Andreas V. Files were even manipulated after the scandal broke to clear local authorities of any wrongdoing.

    Bureaucrats are generally lazy people who go through the motions. When it becomes clear that they have done something wrong, they hide the evidence. Over time, they become defenders of criminals, simply because the bureaucrats do not want any stain on their own records. Careerism defeats morality yet again. This leads us to wonder: how many other areas of our first world governments are screwing up this badly, and allowing horrible victimizers to go free while cracking down on the rest of us for leaving our trash cans out, posting KYS FGT on Twitter, and downloading pirate warez?

  • MIT president warns ‘toxic atmosphere’ for people of Chinese descent will hurt US competitiveness

    If we have a future, my guess is that we will discover massive Chinese penetration of our networks of government, business, academia, and journalism. To a large government, a few billion dollars in bribes is chump change to take out a competitor. Trump is the anti-China president just like Reagan was the anti-Soviet president. Leftists and Russia want us to focus on Russia so that we ignore Russia’s ally, China. Naturally, the academics and journalists are triggering synchronized outrage and censorship, probably on orders from Beijing.

    The Asiatic mind loves intrigue and game-playing. It is as obsessed with being clever as the West is with being good. Naturally, they have a tendency to scheme themselves into a position of power without having analyzed the way power thrives according to nature, and this arrogance rewards them with collapse of their little schemes, but only after they have roped in everyone else to go down with them.

  • Risk of Hungary’s booming economy overheating is very low: central banker

    The West finds it impossible to believe that anyone can succeed through a method other than globalism. In reality, as resources become scarce, self-sufficiency is the best position for any nation. Those who figure this out last will end up the third world of the future.

  • More voters want to quit the EU now than at the time of Brexit referendum

    Politicians made the whole process arduous in their desire to get around the vote, and this has made people recognize how dysfunctional democracy and the voters are. As a result, they just want to be done with it and escape the creepy, predatory fingers of the EU. They would also like to escape their own politicians. The only ways to do that are oligarchy, military rule, dictatorship, and aristocracy. If we accept aristocracy as the best option, we reject the last millennium of Western “enlightenment” and “progress.” Then again, it is better to abandon a failing idea earlier than later.

  • A Bleak Future for Online News Subscriptions?

    The news media is going broke. The New York Times, one of the top three American newspapers, implemented a paywall, and at first it worked. “Oh goody me too!” called out the other newspapers, and put up their own paywalls, too. The problem that they are facing is that while they can charge for their content now, people are sharing it less, because who wants to point an internet buddy toward a paywalled or adblocked link. All of them have ignored the obvious solution, which is that most adblockers allow reasonable ads, just not the pages papered in them. If they were to reduce their page load and complexity, run normal 1990s-style banners, and quit collecting data, they might be able to turn a profit. The real problem here is that internet ads do not command as much money as they would need to for major corporations to make money through internet advertising. Hence, we can look forward to more media holocaust in the near future.

  • ‘Those Who Resist Will Perish’

    This makes it very easy to see that China is not the good guy here. As with most blockheads, they confuse power with the ability to wield that power, and this will take them down in flames. Unfortunately, many others will be dragged into the black hole of their implosion. Letting Trump savage their economy over the next six years might be the cure.

  • U.S. ‘gag rule’ linked to 40% jump in abortions in parts of Africa

    Flip this one around and you see how much US funding of Leftist NGOs has influenced the world. Why are our tax dollars going to propagate Leftism worldwide? Oh, right: when you elect one Leftist, they bring in the horde of them, and then like termites they eat away everything structural, leaving only a ruin in progress. Send them to Venezuela and burn their passports in order to avoid this problem.

  • A foreign mafia has come to Italy and further polarized the migration debate

    Investigators and justice officials say the Nigerian mafia, as it’s called here, has capitalized on half a decade of historic migration — a scenario merging crime and migrants in a manner that nationalist politicians in Europe and beyond have long warned about.

    Diversity just fails. Foreign groups have a binary choice; they can either conquer, or be conquered. Anyone sane will choose the latter, even if dumb, and so they do, and that means that everywhere their members go, your institutions break down and are replaced by even more exploitative ones.

  • Medically unnecessary ambulance rides soar after ACA expansion

    With the expansion of the ACA, the out-of-pocket cost of ambulances tumbled for many people. When patients bear a smaller portion of the cost, researchers argue, they will be more likely to use an ambulance for medical transportation in less emergent situations.

    Demand is infinite. If you make something “free,” people treat it like it is worthless.

  • ‘Developers control city hall,’ city councillor charges

    In democracies, the vote is always for sale. You can buy it with lobbying, or giving money to politicians to buy votes with advertising and public appearances. You can buy it with jobs, or the promise thereof. You can also buy it with good feelings, sort of like a variety show at the movies, where you make the audience, laugh, cry, rage, and then feel powerful because they saw what the characters should have been doing all along. In most areas, a few industries hold sway over local government because the voters are exhausted by too many layers of political activity, apathetic because they believe they have little influence, and generally oblivious to any nuance or depth to the issues.

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